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Golf tourney helps assist troubled teens
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Marissa Alexandria Guidance Center counselor, Frankie Robirds, center, locks hands with Diane Ratto of the Ripon Youth Commission, left, and Marissas Closet founder Melinda Shaw. From left are Gordon West, Ripon PD; Dean Uecker, councilman; and other Youth Commission members in support of the golf tournament. - photo by GLENN KAHL

A golf tournament is being staged to help youth see beyond the struggles of today.

Proceeds will help support a teenage guidance center in Ripon in the fight against cutting, bullying and depression. The golf tournament takes place Monday at the Spring Creek Golf and Country Club.

Melinda Shaw, president of Marissa’s Closet, cited the “overwhelming myriad of difficulties overwhelming of our youth.” The Marissa Alexandria Guidance Center in downtown Ripon is dedicated to meet the needs of the community with the addition of qualified professional counselors, topic specific speakers and focused outreach.

“It’s a swing that could save a life,” she said.

Presently counselor Frankie Robirds is taking appointments Tuesdays and Thursdays welcoming students from the rear parking lot entrance. Robirds also has a private practice as well as being associated with the Salvation Army’s non-profit Elder Wisdom Circle on line.

Shaw added that the education in the behaviors and consequences of bullying, cutting and suicide by a professional counselor will help empower the community that is willing to help in a program launched in memory of her late daughter Melissa McLeod. It was Melissa who started collecting prom dresses for her friends at school who might not otherwise have been able to attend their high school event.

It is to her credit and to her mother that has seen thousands of dresses given out to teens without cost. Some have even received matching shoes, purses and others have had their prom bids purchased for them.

Registration for the tournament is $130 per person and $520 for a foursome golf team. The donations include lunch, green fee, cart, awards and a dinner following the golf competition between donors. 

The dress code calls for soft spikes only, no blue jeans, no cut offs, all shirts must have collars and no outside beverages of any kind will be allowed on the course. Complimentary beverages will be provided.

The first hole in one will win a car. Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. with a Texas Scramble beginning at noon. For more information email or call 209.613.0836.